The Village of Saugerties’ efforts to reduce the population of feral cats will begin in earnest this week as cat trapper Kim Kelly will start catching the unvaccinated, unlicensed, unsprayed or neutered animals. Village trustee Don Hackett, who’s in charge of the program, is asking residents to not feed the feral cats and give Kelly a chance to trap them.
Feral cat populations have been reported in the area of Finger Street, Division Street, Washington Avenue, and Jane Street. Some of the residents of those roads have been putting out food and water, in the belief that they are doing an act of kindness for the animals. Hackett is asking that these residents no longer feed or water the animals. Kelly uses food to bait her live-catch traps. If the cats are being feed by residents, they are less likely to go after the food in the traps.
Once Kelly traps the cats, she will transport them to the ASPCA where they will be spayed or neutered. They will then be released back into the wild, where they will no longer be able to breed and add to the feral-cat population.
Several years ago, local volunteers helped catch the cats and take them to the ASPCA, but that program eventually ended when the supply of volunteer dried up. Officials are hoping that the current effort will reduce the feral-cat population once and for all.
Village officials have so far allocated $500 for Kelly’s services, but more money will be needed. Trustees are asking anyone who would like to contribute to the effort to send checks made out to the Village Feral Cat Fund. Send them or drop them off at the village hall at 43 Partition Street.